The Stormont Executive this evening announced that from tomorrow (24 July) “spectators will be enabled to attend outdoor competitive games with numbers to be determined by the venue in line with public health advice.” This applies to games in the ‘Six Counties’ only.
We must however be mindful that there remains a pandemic in our community and we must take all possible measures to mitigate against further spread. Therefore GAA units organising and hosting matches must adhere to the GAA and Executive protocols. This ‘return to spectators’ is therefore on a basis of restricted numbers with the onus on all to ensure that public health guidance is adhered to.
Ulster GAA, having consulted with the GAA nationally, is therefore advising that in GAA grounds with perimeter fencing with viewing access on all four sides there should be no more than 400 people present at a game (including essential match personnel). In all other grounds the number of people attending a game (including essential match personnel) should be limited to a maximum of 250, though in some cases (e.g. grounds with no perimeter fencing) the number might be lower.
There is an onus on both the spectator and the organisers to ensure that all social distancing requirements are adhered to. This is currently 2 metres.
In line with GAA protocols, supporters are strongly advised to wear face coverings at games. Patrons are also encouraged to bring their own hand sanitiser.
Clubs are reminded that dressing rooms and indoor facilities remain closed. It is also recommended that dugouts should not be used. If being used they can only be done so in accordance with the 2 metres social distancing regulations.
We will issue further guidance to counties in the coming week in relation to the use of designated venues, including county grounds, where it may be possible to put in place additional safeguards for spectators in the weeks ahead.
There is an onus on all to adhere to the guidelines – by doing so we will help hasten the day where higher numbers of spectators will be able to attend our games in a safe and regulated matter.